This Week in British Politics: 29 January – 4 February 2018

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There have been accusations in the Labour party of sexism and bullying this week. Elsewhere, the BBC has been accused of homophobia, SNP Deputy Leader Angus Robertson has resigned and the government have proposed further cuts to the Royal Navy.

Haringey Council leader, Claire Kober, resigned earlier this week due to ‘sexism and bullying’. Kober has since openly discussed the strong backlash she has faced through the party due to redevelopment plans for the borough. This is know as the Haringey Development Vehicle, a controversial £2 billion housing project which has promised to relocate current tenants of council houses whilst replacing the existing homes.

Kober announced via Twitter that she will step down due to the negative reaction she has received from members within the labour party. In an interview with Andrew Marr, Kober states that in the last two years she has experienced more threats, bullying and intimidation than in the previous eight years put together, and cites sexism as a core part of this and discusses how members would sing the Police song ‘Every Breathe You Take’ as a means of intimidating her.

Piers Morgan accuses the BBC of homophobia 

The ITV Good Morning Britain presenter, Piers Morgan, took to Twitter across the weekend to repeatedly air his grievance with a graphic cartoon shown on the BBC Mash Report Show. The cartoon itself depicts Piers Morgan’s face pressed against Donald Trump’s behind.

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In one of his tweets, Morgan cites the BBC as also being sexist for displaying the image.

Amusing though this image may be to many people, can you imagine the BBC broadcasting it if the President was Hillary Clinton or the interviewer was a woman?

The segment to which the cartoon appears focuses on the recent, Piers Morgan interview with Donald Trump. Since the moment of airing, the interview itself has faced severe complaints. Many complain that Morgan was too soft on Trump. Others were angered by Morgan’s belief that on behalf of the entire British public, he could accept Donald Trump’s apology for his retweeting the racist Britain First group.

A BBC spokesman has since stated:

The Mash Report takes a satirical and surreal look at the weeks big stories. This brand of humour is well known to BBC Two audiences who tune in to watch the programme.

Angus Robertson resigns as deputy leader of SNP 

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At the start of February, Angus Robertson announced he will be immediately leaving his position in the Scottish National Party (SNP). Robertson has remained a respected politician by many and Party Leader, Nicola Sturgeon called him an ‘outstanding’ deputy leader. Who will be the next deputy leader remains unknown and the party have not announced a set date for when the position will be filled just stating that it will be decided in due time. Back in the June 2017 General Election, Robertson lost his constituency, Moray, to Conservative Douglas Ross. In his resignation letter, Robertson said he felt no longer able to fulfil his mandate as Sturgeon’s eyes and ears in the Commons.

Government proposes cuts to the Marines

A government review of Marine spending last year and has now concluded that cutting up to 2,000 Marines and the Royal Navy’s two specialist landing ships may be the right way to go. Lord West, the former head of the Royal Navy, said that if these cuts were to be approved, the UK’s ‘capability will have been cut by a half’ since 2010.

Despite the backlash towards these cuts, a minister of defence spokesperson has stated that ‘Protecting the UK will always be our priority.’ In 2016, it was found that the UK had the highest defence budget of all the EU countries and the fifth biggest in the world with £35.3 billion spent in April 2016 – March 2017. Both Theresa May and Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson have rejected the cuts proposed in the report, however, the current military funding concerns are still unsolved.

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Former English Student | Travel Editor 2016-17 |Current MSc. International Politics | Editor at Wessex Scene for 2017-18.

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